Emma Ross is at the forefront of a movement tackling the inherent bias towards men in elite sport — particularly the lack of research attention paid to the impact of menstrual cycles on physical and mental health.
In her role as Head of Physiology at the English Institute of Sport, she leads a team of 18 Physiologists who work together to help athletes maximise their performance potential. Her team launched the campaign SmartHER, to improve understanding about how inadequate breast and menstrual support can affect performance.
Her team also released research finding over half of international athletes report painful period symptoms and premenstrual tension, and more than 30% have infrequent or absent periods, a condition which can affect long-term bone integrity.
Ross was previously Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Physiology at the University of Brighton and holds a Ph.D. in Exercise Neurophysiology. Her research has taken her to the South of France, following a group of cyclists on the Tour de France route, and with kit strapped to the side of yaks near Everest base camp.
“I work with a fantastic group of scientists who are all working with the same common goal — to push the limits of human capability through understanding the physiological requirements of an event or performance, and helping to inform the training and preparation of the athlete to meet and exceed those requirements”.
Whilst at university, she became one of the “very few women” to have played a rugby match at the Twickenham ground, during a British Universities final.Tags: periods, sports